Subliminal messages may be effective in marketing and advertising strategies for brands, a new study suggests.

Scientists at Duke University and the University of Waterloo conducted a study of 341 students in which they were given a “visual acuity test”.

The students were asked to watch a screen and track a multicoloured box, while keeping a tally of numbers that appeared in the centre.

All the while, the students were exposed to either an Apple or IBM logo for 30 milliseconds.

After the test, the students were asked to list all the possible uses for a brick they could think of. It was discovered that those who had seen the Apple logo came up more creative ways of using bricks.

Researchers also found that students behaved more honestly after being exposed to the Disney channel brand as opposed to that of the E! channel.

Gavan Fitzsimons, a professor at Duke said: “Instead of spending the majority of their money on traditional print and television advertising, companies with established brand associations may want to give serious consideration to shifting more marketing resources to product placement opportunities and other forms of outreach that emphasise brief brand exposures.”
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